Straight Talk: Advocating for the Cleaning Industry During COVID-19 [Video]


NORTHBROOK, Ill.—April 13, 2020—In this edition of Straight Talk with Jeff Cross, John Nothdurft, director of government affairs for ISSA, discusses the Association’s advocacy initiatives on behalf of the cleaning and restoration industry. As the government works to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the coronavirus, ISSA’s government affairs department has been able to be an influential voice on issues like paid time leave and small business stimulus. Nothdurft said the most important issue they’ve been focused on is their “Cleaning is Essential” campaign to ensure that “the entire cleaning supply chain can stay open because if you take one of those components out, it really doesn’t work.”

Nothdurft explained that stay-at-home orders and business regulations during the pandemic are issued state by state, but individual cities can impose further restrictions on which businesses are essential. This can lead to confusion with some cleaning companies permitted to operate while others are told to shut down. The executive orders are also illustrative of the types of businesses that are essential; they are not specific to precise job titles, and in some cases the guidelines are changing as the situation changes.

“We’ve actually been pushing back at the federal government to clarify [the regulations], and we were successful in actually getting a section on hygiene and sanitation,” said Nothdurft.

Nothdurft recommends business owners facing a government-imposed shutdown check out the resources on the ISSA website and reach out to ISSA before contacting the government so that the advocacy department can work to be proactive on the issues companies may be facing.

Nothdurft also reviewed how to find crucial information for operating during the coronavirus on the ISSA website, including updated state-by-state regulations and the Government Response FAQ. In the Advocacy Action Center, business owners can get involved directly in the “Cleaning is Essential” campaign and other advocacy initiatives.

If you have questions or concerns not addressed on the website, you can reach out to Nothdurft directly at [email protected].

Nothdurft explained the goal for his department is “changing the way policy-makers view cleaning.” He went on to add, “I think we need to take this time to let our policy-makers understand why our industry is so important and how we can help moving forward.”

Watch the complete episode of Straight Talk with Jeff Cross below, and find more Straight Talk episodes on

Cleanfax Staff

Cleanfax provides cleaning and restoration professionals with information designed to help them manage and grow their businesses.

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